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The Benefits of Pilates

Runners, what do runners love? Running of course! As physiotherapists at Bodymechanics we see a variety of running related injuries. Running injuries are often associated with physical imbalances of the body, poor joint alignment or muscular imbalance. The high impact repetitive running action paired with physical imbalances can make you susceptible to injury. This is where Pilates can help. Pilates is a mind and body conditioning technique developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920’s. Regular Pilates can help improve alignment, posture, flexibility and core strength.

Core strength

Pilates develops core strength. The core muscles of the body are the deep muscles of the back, abdomen, pelvic floor and the diaphragm. We rely on these muscles to support a strong mobile spine, good posture and efficient movement patterns. This and the promotion of flexibility and increased range of motion aids running form and endurance.

Alignment

Regular practice of Pilates helps alignment and strength to the spine and the joints on which good running technique is reliant. Exercises such as single leg circles, side lying leg lift emphasise alignment of the hip, thus strengthening hip stabilisers. Exercises in table top encourage shoulder stability, control and again good alignment.

Breathing

With Pilates you learn to breathe with emphasis on efficient diaphragmatic breathing, avoiding overactivity of the accessory muscles of the necking shoulders. The diaphragm is part of your core, it works with your deep abdominals, the pelvic floor and spinal muscles to give you the strong foundation to base your running on.

Recovery

All runners know that next day hangover muscle/body feeling after a long or hard run session. Pilates is a great form of exercise to combat this feeling, gentle strengthening muscle lengthening body weight conditioning, with exercises to promote joint mobility, co-ordination and body control. Not only will it aid recovery but promote injury prevention.  

 

Want to improve your running form and endurance and stay injury free? Then practice Pilates exercises, you won’t look back! 

 

Here are some examples of Pilates exercises and their benefits. If you’d like to find out more, we also have classes for beginners, intermediates and advanced on our YouTube channel

ARM OPENERS – to mobilise the thoracic and lumbar spine, control spinal rotation, and stretch the pectoral muscles.

ARM OPENERS – to mobilise the thoracic and lumbar spine, control spinal rotation, and stretch the pectoral muscles.

ONE LEG STRETCH – to maintain lumbo-pelvic control with co-ordinated leg movements.

ONE LEG STRETCH – to maintain lumbo-pelvic control with co-ordinated leg movements.

THREAD THE NEEDLE - to mobilise the thoracic spine, it opens the shoulders stretching the chest, arms and upper back

THREAD THE NEEDLE - to mobilise the thoracic spine, it opens the shoulders stretching the chest, arms and upper back